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Brian1 91 XLT 4x4

Brian1's 1991 Ford Explorer
Moab Edition

Drivetrain:

4.0 V6
BrianBuilt intake adapter with AEM Dryflow filter and Pre-filter
Dynomax cat back exhaust with
High flow cat
Spectre 3" Aluminum intake
BBK Throttle Body
5 speed manual trans With custom transmission mount
4.10 gears
Front D35 TTB, locked
Rear 8.8 with disc brakes, Powertrax No-slip locker, welded tubes to diff, Riddler Cover
Warn manual hubs
Manual BW1354 Transfer Case (swapped in)

Chassis & Suspension:
Skyjacker 2" coils and add a leafs
1" custom aluminum body lift
Quick disconnect front swaybar
Bilstein 5125s 10" shocks rear
Bilstein 5125s 10" shocks front
F250 Shock Tower Conversion
Custom Extended Radius Arms


Interior:
PRP daily driver seat
Cobra CB
E-track cargo tie down system
Lowrance HDS 5 Baja GPS for offroad explorations
Yaesu FT2800 HAM Radio

Wheels & Tires:
LT265/75R16 Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP tires (currently, Cooper STT and BFG MT in the past)
16" GenII teardrop wheels, formerly had 15" stock Gen II teardrop wheels

Misc:
Warn 9000lb multi mount winch with synthetic rope
Onboard Air using Viair 480c compressor and 2.5 gallon tank
Front diff guard from BrianBuilt
Rear u-bolt skid plates and raised shock mounts from BrianBuilt
Raised axle and t-case breathers
Custom Bolt-on Rock Sliders (version 2.0)
Custom Winch bumper
Custom rear bumper with tire carrier
9" Vision X ADV Cannons LED Lights (Old: 9" import LEDs and 7" HID Lights)
Reverse light
Pro-comp extended brake lines
9007 Headlight conversion
Fuel Pump Access Panel
Replacement Door Weatherstripping
Dual Batteries with auxillary fuse block
ARB Awning
ARB Fridge
Maxtrax Recovery Boards
Trasharoo Spare Tire Trash Bag

Project Super Stock

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Scott B.

Explorer Addict
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City, State
GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Ranger XLT
Very nice, Brian.

Should be good for another 20 years! ;)
 












CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
Elite Explorer
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City, State
Knoxville, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Limited AWD
Ditto, excellent work. I've dabbled with rust repair and body work, it's interesting but not for me full time.
 












Brian1

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 2, 2000
Messages
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City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
Took out my transmission Saturday and tore into it this afternoon to see why it whines so bad in 2nd, 3rd and 5th. Found 3 bad bearings - 2 that were chipped/pitted and another that looked good but was rough. I just ordered a rebuild kit including new nuts for the shafts and a new input shaft since it was cheap and slightly compromised by the bad pocket bearing.

Trans teardown jan 2022 (1).jpg


Trans teardown jan 2022 (2).jpg


Trans teardown jan 2022 (3).jpg
 






kmack

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 28, 2000
Messages
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City, State
San Antonio, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 Ford Explorer
Good idea on replacing the input shaft. I sheared all the teeth off on the '94 Sport we had. It had about 150k miles on it, but I don't how hard it was driven prior to me owning it. I was towing a trailer at the time when it happened. But those 5-speeds are very easy to work!
 






Brian1

Elite Explorer
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City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
Good idea on replacing the input shaft. I sheared all the teeth off on the '94 Sport we had. It had about 150k miles on it, but I don't how hard it was driven prior to me owning it. I was towing a trailer at the time when it happened. But those 5-speeds are very easy to work!

Funny you say that as I have done that too years ago! It let go on the interstate and was no fun when it happened right at 200k miles. The one I'm working on now is the replacement trans I bought new/rebuilt to replace it when that happened to me about 13 years ago. Here is a photo of that carnage from when it happened to me. Ive read a few places that say to replace the input on these as it is a common failure. The replacement was about $39 so definitely a no-brainer to replace while everything is apart.

Trans failure 200k (1).JPG
 






Scott B.

Explorer Addict
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City, State
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'93 Ranger XLT
Took out my transmission Saturday and tore into it this afternoon to see why it whines so bad in 2nd, 3rd and 5th. Found 3 bad bearings - 2 that were chipped/pitted and another that looked good but was rough. I just ordered a rebuild kit including new nuts for the shafts and a new input shaft since it was cheap and slightly compromised by the bad pocket bearing.

View attachment 425886

View attachment 425887

View attachment 425888

I had about ~300,000 miles on mine, when it started leaking on our trip in 2011. On my way home, I put 5 quarts of oil in it in Oklahoma. :eek:

I made it back to Georgia with no other issues, though.

Ah, good times....
 






Brian1

Elite Explorer
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City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
Transmission is back in. The rebuild went well with just a small hiccup of the company sending me two of the same countershaft bearings instead of one of each (front/rear). A call and the correct one went out the same day and showed up a few days later along with the input shim kit I also ordered while I had them on the phone. Always order a new shim kit when installing new bearings and input shaft as I had to add a new shim pack to bring it within specs.

I built my own socket to properly torque the mainshaft nut out of some tube and a few pieces of 3/8" plate scraps I had. It worked perfect!

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I marked all the external bolts I torqued with a paint pen, something I have been in the habit of the past few years for quick visual inspection plus knowing which bolts have been torqued. You definitely don't want this nut on the reverse shaft coming loose or bad things will happen. I should have used yellow paint because now every time I look, it looks like the red oil leaking :laugh:

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While I was waiting for parts I also bought a new ignition switch as my old one was not functioning properly and was just worn out. I decided to tackle rekeying it myself which was kind of a pain, I believe the 95+ ignitions are much easier to rekey. Anyway I basically popped off this metal bar to expose the tumbler pins and just swapped them into the new ignition with the new springs. New ignition switch is now properly working.

ignition rekey.jpg


I also ordered a new catalytic converter because I was due for emissions and barely passed last time getting only a 1-yr certificate. I just got back from the emissions check and it passed perfectly with low numbers so Im happy with that and Im good for 2 years at a time now, maybe someday it will be exempt for age here.

Edit to add I am debating installing a ground strap from the transmission extension housing to my framerail. I read in a transmission tech bulletin it is advised to put a ground strap on new installs to prevent micro tack welds from occuring everytime the engine is turned off and then those micro tack welds breaking everytime it is put into gear. Those micro tack welds add up over time to potential pitting of the bearings. Thoughts? I do have the ground strap to the back of the head on the engine.
 






Brian1

Elite Explorer
Joined
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Messages
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City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
This time while I had the m5r1 transmission out I decided to finally add a breather vent because I always blow out the rear seal and leak out the extension housing on long drives. Supposedly these m5od transmissions vent through the shifter (assuming you have replaced the rubber shift rail plugs with metal freeze plugs) but the shifter still passes through a pretty good seal up top so I don't completely believe the mechanics behind that. This is an experiment because I have read the trans will push fluid out any breather tube that is added - worst case I just plug the hole if that happens.

I drilled and tapped a 1/8 NPT hole in the back corner of the top shifter plate on the passenger side because the driver side gets the oil slung up into it hence the oil trough on the driver side. Putting the vent on the passenger side should receive less oil splash. In addition I added a piece of 20ga steel to baffle the vent tube from direct oil slosh and bolted it down with one of the lockout plate bolts.

Baffle plate:

IMG_20220214_162004957.jpg


External breather vent (shown with temporary blue cap)

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Next I made my own catch can with breather that bolts to the brake booster/MC. It is about 3" tall to hold any oil volume that might get pushed up and does have an internal baffle so oil cant spray directly up to the top filter. I repurposed a breather filter from my raised axle and t-case breathers so I made another small catch can/manifold to feed two hoses into one filter. Now if the trans pushes oil out it should still be able to vent and gravity drain back into the transmission as it cools. Hopefully this setup works!

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gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
Staff member
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Elite Explorer
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City, State
MO MO
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94 & 95 XLT's
For the home made socket, and the catch can/vent setup, all I can say is............. WOW! That is some sweet ingenuity Brother! 💪

My M5OD liked to spew out the shifter on long trips as well. I thought it was probably happening at higher "Rip-ums", when tackeling the long steep Hwy climbs, in a lower gear. I always changed the fluids if I seen that happening, and was part of the return inspection. Figured it got hot, and no sense taking any chances. I'm interested to see how this works for you! Very cool mod! 👊
 






Brian1

Elite Explorer
Joined
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Messages
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City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
Well the M5OD vent was a bust. It still pushed oil out the new rear seal and I couldn't stop the catch can (fittings) from leaking, it lost too much oil for comfort out of the catch so I decided to just plug it off at the transmission and remove the hose and catch can. Just got in from removing everything and capping it.

Another mod for springtime coming soon! Details when I start the mod.
 






Brian1

Elite Explorer
Joined
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City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
Around two weeks ago I joined a local club's trip to an old ghost town. It was the first time I had my Explorer on dirt since the bodywork and rebuilt trans. Didn't skip a beat! It was fun, I took the rear so I could stop when I wanted and not hold up the group as I have been to this area numerous times

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Brian1

Elite Explorer
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Messages
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City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
New Springs for Spring!

Ive been eyeing getting some new rear leaf springs for a while now and finally pulled the trigger on some Old Man Emu CS042R leaf springs. They give about a 1.5" lift and that is about what I got out of them, maybe slightly more. They matched my old stock springs with a tired 2" Skyjacker Add-a-leaf that Ive had installed since around 2002. These leaves are thinner so they should both ride and flex better. I also like the additional support the military wrap gives the springs.

They are made for a 2nd Gen so the front bushing is much larger. I planned to reuse my poly bushings since they do not come with bushings. I found a piece of steel pipe and cut it down and turned about .060" off the diameter to create a bushing sleeve. The inside was already the correct size.

IMG_20220401_160429476.jpg


I got the old springs out and the polyurethane bushings were completly shot! I was not expecting them to be so worn out, they have been in less than 10 years and probably under 50k miles. I also had to cut the bolt and sleeve out from the front spring hanger at the gas tank skidplate as it was siezed to the bolt. Luckily I had a new set of poly bushings in my parts pile that I was able to use so no delay in getting new parts. Old vs New, about the same.

IMG_20220412_113805498.jpg


Axle is in hover mode with no support under it, hmmm. Going to have to mod my swaybar end links and make them longer as the swaybar was holding the axle up from drooping. It didn't use to do this with the stock swaybar that I remember but this is a Ford Motorsports bar Ive had in for a few years now that must have shorter arms.

IMG_20220412_153954019.jpg


I buffed out some gouges from my u-bolt skidplates and unbent a corner from a hard hit they took somewhere years ago. New paint and some trimmed down u-bolts later and everything was installed. I replaced the lower shock bolt because the old one had a lot of wear on the shoulder of the bolt so a new grade 8 went in.

IMG_20220416_113449392_HDR.jpg


I also trimmed my gas tank skidplate so the spring clamp bolts would clear on compression. I cut a v-notch about 4" back from a factory relief cutout and bent part of it up instead of removing a big piece. It doesnt look close in this photo but it comes closer on up-travel.

IMG_20220416_113723967_HDR.jpg
 






Brian1

Elite Explorer
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City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
June 2022 issue of Fourwheeler Magazine out now. Has nothing to do with my Explorer but a photo of my Explorer made it in there 😆

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This was from a Utah trip about a year ago I did with my friend Verne who wrote the story about swapping a t-case into his AWD Explorer.
 






LucasAK

Member
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City, State
Anchorage, AK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Explorer XLT 5spd
I've been thinking about buying the same OME springs. Any ride impressions yet? My flattened leaf springs with 2" lift shackles ride like crap until I have a few hundred extra pounds in the car but I'm hoping I can reduce the shackle length and use these springs for a ~2" lift and better ride.
 






Brian1

Elite Explorer
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Messages
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City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
I've been thinking about buying the same OME springs. Any ride impressions yet? My flattened leaf springs with 2" lift shackles ride like crap until I have a few hundred extra pounds in the car but I'm hoping I can reduce the shackle length and use these springs for a ~2" lift and better ride.

I don't have many miles on them and only 1 off-road trip. They are definitely softer than my stock springs were with an add-a-leaf. They soak up the bumps better without the harshness of the old leaves. I would say they are correct about the 1.5" lift, maybe 2" at the most. I thought I was going to have to put shorter shackles on but they evened out pretty well for my custom mix of lift components.
 






Fix4Dirt

Get a Load O' This Guy!
Elite Explorer
Joined
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City, State
Los Angeles, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT 4x4
I've been thinking about buying the same OME springs. Any ride impressions yet? My flattened leaf springs with 2" lift shackles ride like crap until I have a few hundred extra pounds in the car but I'm hoping I can reduce the shackle length and use these springs for a ~2" lift and better ride.
ive got OMEs on my 2G 4dr. rides like stock pretty much imo, but mroe flexy for froadin! iirc i got maybe 1.5 out of them cause they matches my TT exactly. 1.25-1.5 id say. only thing: not great for towing cause the overload leaf is so far down, and i do tow with the X. other than that for DD and froadin, no complains here!!!! if ya want any more info just let me know and ill PM ya. sorry for hijack!
 



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